The top five new cars for 2013

  • The key cars to keep an eye out for in 2013
  • Includes small 4x4s, estates and sports cars
  • On sale in a local dealership near you this year

There has been a whole host of new cars unveiled at the start of this year but which are the ones worth keeping an eye out for?

For the vast majority of us it won't be million pound Ferraris or swanky new Rolls-Royces, but the good news is that there are plenty of great new cars we can all afford. Here is the Parkers top five pick of the new cars of 2013.

1. Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C

What's new?

Long awaited, the 4C promises a real return to form for Italian car maker Alfa Romeo. This compact Porsche Cayman rival boasts sleek carbon fibre bodywork and a tweaked 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo also found in the Giulietta hatchback.

As per the norm in this day and age the Alfa uses a twin-clutch automatic gearbox, and the firm’s DNA system – with Dynamic, Natural and All-weather modes – will be supplemented by a Race setting to allow proper exploration of the mid-engined chassis.

Our only criticism of the production model is the new headlight styling, the aftermarket surrounds doing the otherwise achingly pretty 4C a total disservice. Strong prices, expected to be starting at around £36,000 put it up against some serious sportscar competition too.

Also Consider: Porsche Cayman
In showrooms:
Autumn (estimated)
Price from: £36,000 (estimated)

 

2. Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008

What's new?
Jacked-up hatchbacks and estates are ten-a-penny now; in the last 12 months we’ve seen the Skoda Audi A6 allroad, Superb Outdoor, Volvo V40 Cross Country and VW Passat Alltrack and now there’s a Peugeot to add to the list too.

The Peugeot 2008 is based on the, so near yet so far, Peugeot 208 but adds a higher driving position and chunky off-road stance to the mix.

Arriving in the UK this June the 2008 comes with a range of engines, including the e-HDi diesel and excellent three-cylinder petrol. Stop/start means emissions for these units will be sub 100g/km and the average fuel economy across the range will be over 60mpg.

There’ll be no four-wheel drive option though, so you’ll have to make do with the firm’s FWD Grip Control system which maximises traction in rough conditions.

Also Consider: Nissan Juke
In showrooms: August
Price: £13,500 (est)

 

3. Renault Raptur

Renault Captur

What's new?

Another motorshow, another Crossover, but like the Peugeot 2008 the Renault Captur will be an important car for the struggling French manufacturer. With a history of bravery with outlandish production models it’s nice to see Renault back on form with the Captur.

Based on the excellent new Clio, but with plenty of parts shared with the Nissan Juke, the Captur promises an intriguing mix of style and Japanese reliability. Like its Peugeot rival there’s no mention of four-wheel drive, but a raised ride height and chunky bodywork mean it at least looks the part.

It’ll take its fight directly to the doors of MINI and Vauxhall’s Adam with a range of personalisation options too – including a two-tone finish for the roof and bodywork. You’ll have to wait until spring to start cherry-picking the options though, the order books for the crossover opening in April. 

Also Consider: Peugeot 2008
In showrooms: July
Price: £13,500 (est)

 

4. Skoda Octavia Estate

Skoda Octavia Estate

What's new?

We’ve already been impressed by the new Skoda Octavia hatchback, so it’s no surprise the extra load-carrying capacity of the forthcoming estate has us excited at the prospect of its June arrival.

Not only can this practical estate carry more luggage (610 litres with the seats in place) but to our eyes it looks better than the hatchback too.

Inside the cabin remains spacious and built from solid materials, while the Golf-derived platform promises a sharp driving experience as well. A range of engine options, from the excellent 1.2-litre TSI to the powerful but economical 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel should cover most bases and the firm’s excellent reputation for aftersales and customer care bode well.

We might be persuaded to wait until July for the UK arrival of the new vRS model though, its 220bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine making it the fastest Skoda yet.

Also Consider: Toyota Avensis Tourer
In showrooms: June
Price: from £16,790 On the road

 

5. SEAT Leon SC

SEAT Leon SC

What's new?

What’s so important about a SEAT Leon three-door we hear you ask – after all, the regular hatchback is plenty stylish enough for most.

But this is the first time we’ve seen a Leon without five doors in the model’s 15-year history. Oh and they’ve enticed us in further by naming it a Sports Coupé, or SC in badging terms.

With a slightly shorter wheelbase than the car it is based on and a shallower rear side window the SC appears sleek and sexy, exactly what the SEAT brand has been aiming to achieve for the last decade.

But it’s not all about style, as the Sports Coupe offers genuine practicality thanks to generous passenger space and a 380-litre boot, while the 1.6-litre TDI returns over 70mpg while emitting less than 100g/km of CO2. 

Those less concerned with economy can look towards the 1.8-litreTSI petrol with 178bhp instead. 

Also Consider: Kia pro_cee'd
In showrooms: July
Price: from £16,500 (est)